Glamorous Hooligan
By Charles Grant
The Face, February 1997

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Jonathan Rhys Meyers is at a scary point in his life right now. The 19-year-old Irish actor has chalked up an impressive eight movies, and is already being talked up in British film circles as “the new Ewan McGregor”, but very few people have actually seen any of them — including Jonathan. “I think all these movies are going to come out and everybody’s going to find out I’m a fake,” he says with a sly smile, during a break in the filming of the recently completed B.Monkey directed by Il Postino’s Michael Radford. “I’m going to write a book called ‘How to bullshit your way through Movies’. That’s what I’ve done for the past two years. I don’t know how to act; I’ve never been to acting school; never had a lesson. So far I’ve got away with it -but for how long?”

Maybe that book should be called ‘How the movies saved me from myself’ for the story of Rhys Meyers’ meteoric rise is a modern classic of redemption: thrown out of school and almost certainly headed to juvenile centre having been caught driving without tax, licence or insurance, he was discovered in a Cork pool hall by a casting agent and offered the joint lead in The Dissapearence of Finbar Flynn. Films by Nicolas Roeg, Stephen Poliakoff and Tim Hunter followed. Now his raffish charms have seen him cast alongside with Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine, the much awaited glam rock movie from Safe director Todd Haynes — a role that will do nothing to halt those comparisons with the hot Scot. “I haven’t met Ewan, but I’m looking forward to it”, says Rhys Meyers flicking his fringe. “I’m gonna have so much fun being part of someone special like that. He’s gorgeous.”

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